The war of words between top British super-middleweights George Groves and James DeGale again threatened to boil over this afternoon (May 19), as the young titleholders went face-to-face ahead of their dual-title bout on Saturday night (May 21).
Despite clear provocation from British champion DeGale, the 23-year-old Groves remained his normal dignified self throughout their pre-fight press conference in North Greenwich, merely stating, "You will see what I have on Saturday night. James he will not have any answers to it. There will just be me and him in that ring, and I will have too much for him".
While DeGale chose to make wild claims regarding Groves and his recent sparring exploits, the classy Commonwealth champion from Hammersmith managed to resist the temptation to rise to the bait.
Meanwhile, WBA world heavyweight champion David 'The Hayemaker' Haye has backed his team-mate to conquer DeGale when the pair finally come to blows on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in North Greenwich.
"George has had a fantastic training camp in the lead up to this fight," said Haye. "All the talking is done now, and it's time for both of them to back up what they have had to say. In my opinion, George will win the fight and he'll win it well.
"DeGale reminds me of Audley Harrison in many ways, and I don't mean that with any disrespect. Like Audley, DeGale is a southpaw Olympic medallist from London, and he also likes to talk a lot. It's George's job to go out there and shatter the illusion."
Hardly in need of motivation or an incentive, Groves will nevertheless be buoyed by the presence of Haye at ringside on Saturday night. Keen to give whatever advice he may be able to offer, Haye plans to as close to the corner as possible when Groves finally steps through the ropes to face his moment of truth.
"I have believed in George since day one and have always felt he had what it takes to get very far in this game," added Haye. "Myself and Adam had followed George for years before we eventually decided to sign him as a professional. We always liked his style and we liked his character and personality, too.
"I will be there on Saturday and I will do whatever I can to help George get through this fight with his unbeaten record intact. It's going to be a fantastic fight for the fans, and I've no doubt we will all see George showcase his skills and prove he is the best domestic super-middleweight out there right now. This is his time now."